No, I haven’t gone biblical on you. My cup indeed–literally and figuratively–is full.
Because, you ask?
I was finally able to get my prosthesis yesterday morning. A kind saleswoman from “Ruth’s”, corset shop extraordinaire, fitted me while Banjo Man ate breakfast at the cafe next door.
Who knew a $300 blob of silicone and two lovely bras would change my life so nicely?
I am filled with joy. Seriously. Pun intended.
I haven’t blogged about this particular issue, unwilling to make my male readers squirm (and I’d advise you guys to stop reading and go on to something else on the internet), but let’s just say it isn’t easy wearing a poly-fil insert that rides up a couple of inches higher than the real, gravity-driven thing. I even made inserts of glass micro beads to add some weight. That helped a little, but not much. At one point I used small, smooth flat rocks from the lake (yes, I have a little collection here to remind me of summer). The comfy “Knitted Knockers” served their purpose after surgery but were not cutting it in the reality of wanting to look and feel normal again. I had begun to hate the very sight of them.
And then there’s the balance problem. Not that I was Dolly Parton or anyone endowed with extra curves, but a little weight makes a difference. After surgery I lurched to the left and walked the house like Frankenstein. I was constantly reminding myself to stand up straight and not stagger sideways.
I opted out of reconstruction (more surgery?? Are you kidding me???!!!), but I didn’t want to feel self-conscious either. I don’t really think that anyone is eyeing a 67-year old woman’s chest for a cheap thrill, but I longed to feel balanced again and to look nice in my clothes. I often think it would have been easier in the long run to have both breasts removed and then I wouldn’t have to wear any undergarments or silicone at all.
I detest the shirts (prints? gathers? ick!) I wear. I want my t-shirts back. And my pretty knit sundresses. I recently ordered a couple of sweaters with interestingly draped necks that will hide my flatness when I don’t feel like gearing up. Pretty scarves will come in handy, too. But I wanted options. What woman doesn’t?
I’d had to wait for many weeks after radiation in order to get a prosthesis. You have to be completely healed from radiation and you can’t get one before radiation because of the swelling from the surgery. I’d been waiting all week to drive up to the city but the weather had been too awful to make the trip. And I was getting nervous about the whole thing. What if I cried? What if they didn’t have my size and had to order it? What if I got tired before I found what I needed?
So yesterday I wore my cowboy boots for courage. But the fitting went better than I expected. I tried on three “forms” before finding the one that matched, and four or five bras before finding a couple of comfy ones. I wore my new “body” out of the store and pranced over to the cafe where Banjo Man was seated at the counter finishing his breakfast and reading the paper. I perched on the stool next to him and opened my cardigan sweater to reveal a fitted cream turtleneck worn especially for fake-breast-testing.
“Stare at them,” I demanded, pointing my breasts in his direction. “Go ahead, stare!”
He put down the paper and did as he was told.
“I can’t tell the difference,” he pronounced, good husband that he is. But I could tell he was impressed. He looked back up to my face. “Are you happy?”
“Very happy,” I assured him. “The extra weight is heaven and feels so good. It was like wearing a pair of shoes where one fit and one was floppy and miserable and now I have two shoes that fit and I am so comfortable!”
And then I started crying. Just a little. Into a Kleenex.
So…one more step into the Land of Normal. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about another one. Fear not, it has nothing to do with missing body parts.